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32-year-old Robert Alan Hunter of West 17th Street in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (September 6) for felony possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and misdemeanor second-degree trespass. At the same time, 27-year-old Caira Leeann Prysock was arrested for felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine.

They were arrested when Police went to Prysock’s apartment to serve her with an indictment on the drug charge. As Officers approached they saw Hunter through the window and knew that he had previously been banned from Hickory Housing Authority property. Hunter appeared to be hiding objects in a clothes hamper.

Police smelled marijuana as they entered the residence. Hunter was arrested for second-degree trespass. They were given consent to search, leading to the discovery of an unloaded .25 caliber Jennings semi-automatic handgun.

Both subjects were taken into custody without incident. Hunter was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. Prysock was released after posting a $3,000 unsecured bond. Hunter was scheduled to appear in District Court today (September 8) in Newton. Prysock has a Superior Court date set for September 12.

A juvenile identified only as Levi M. is being sought by authorities with the Division of Adult Correction & Juvenile Justice. The juvenile was in custody at the Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center and failed to return to the facility yesterday (September 7) following a home visit. His home is in Lincoln County. The Stonewall Jackson facility is in Cabarrus County, near Concord.

Levi M. was last seen Sunday around noon near a wooded area at a home on Highway 73 in Iron Station. Local law enforcement is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Due to the unpredictability of juvenile behavior, division officials have a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Levi M. should contact local law enforcement.

Monday, 08 September 2014 11:26

Hickory Woman Charged with Felony Sex Offense

26-year-old Lauren Michelle Clontz of 13th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested after she turned herself in at Hickory Police headquarters just before 10 a.m. Friday (September 5). She was charged with one felony count of statutory rape or sex offense with a 13, 14 or 15 year old when the defendant is at least six years older than the victim.

Hickory Police say the arrest was the result of inappropriate text messages that were intercepted by the victim’s parents. Police are not calling the offense a rape, though the crime does fall under North Carolina’s legal description of statutory rape.

Clontz and the victim, a teenaged boy whose age was not specified, were acquainted prior to the offense. A Police spokesperson says the crime is not connected to the Children’s Academy on 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory, which is listed as Clontz’s employer.

Clontz was released after posting a $12,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today (September 8) in Newton.

72-year-old Billy Cort Hull of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory and 24-year-old Chelsey Paige Dalton of Bomwan Street in Shelby were both arrested by Hickory Police early Sunday morning. Hull was charged with felony possession of cocaine and felony possession of methamphetamine, as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dalton was arrested on outstanding warrants issued by the Long View Police Department in February of this year for felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

They were arrested when Officers on foot patrol in the area of the Sunny Valley apartment complex on 3rd Avenue S.E. detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from an apartment. Officers knocked and stepped inside the apartment where they spoke to Hull and another man, who they knew had been previously banned from Hickory Housing Authority property. The second man was searched, but nothing illegal was found on his person. Dalton (who initially told Police her name was “Santana” Dalton) and another female were present in a bedroom.

Hull would not give consent to search the apartment. Police searched his person, but found nothing. While one Officer went to obtain a search warrant, the subjects were seated on a couch. The couch was first searched for weapons, leading to the discovery of a pill bottle containing 0.1 grams of crack cocaine.

When the search warrant was issued and executed, a pill crusher, a straw, a blunt wrapper, four marijuana roaches, some loose marijuana and another container containing marijuana were found in the bedroom. The marijuana weighed 2.5 grams. Another small baggie containing 1.3 grams of methamphetamine was found in another sofa.

The other two persons in the apartment were not charged. Hull and Dalton were both taken into custody without incident. They were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Hull set at $9,500, secured, while Dalton was given an $8,000 secured bond. Hull was scheduled to appear in District Court today. Dalton has a Superior Court date coming up on September 12.

A group of seven representatives from Altenburg, Germany arrived in Hickory Friday (September 5) and will remain in town through tomorrow (September 9). The visit is hosted by the Western Piedmont Sister Cities Association.

Their tour being focused on public-private partnerships that re-purpose vacant buildings for economic development and an improved quality of life.

The group is touring areas of western North Carolina, including the cities of Hickory, Lenoir and Morganton. They have visited the Historic Morganton Festival, the Patterson School, the Hickory Regional Airport and other locales within the Hickory Metro. A tour of Sarstedt Manufacturing in the Newton-Conover area is planned for today.

Their trip will conclude with a celebratory dinner, sponsored by the City of Hickory, at the Olde Hickory Station this evening at seven o’clock with a performance by the bluegrass band, Carolina Wind. They’ll spend the day Tuesday with Christof & Rosi Klingspor before departing from Charlotte tomorrow evening.

The Western Piedmont Sister Cities Association is the local branch of Sister Cities International, which coordinates contacts between U.S. cities and other countries. Representing over 2,500 communities in 126 countries around the world, Sister Cities International encourages dialogue among governmental, educational, artistic, business and other officials who seek to improve the quality of life for their communities.

Monday, 08 September 2014 06:48

Silver Alert Issued for Alexander County Woman

The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for 44-year-old Teresa Ann Smith. Ms. Smith is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Ms. Smith is a white female. She is 5' 7" tall and weighs 140 pounds. She has red-ish brown hair and brown eyes. Ms. Smith was last seen wearing an orange shirt and tan shorts.

Her last known location was at 3032 N.C. Highway 16 South. She is believed to be traveling in a green 1997 Toyota Camry with N.C. license tag CHV2879.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Teresa Ann Smith should call the Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-2911.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced Tuesday (September 2) that new export data shows merchandise exports from the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan area totaled a record $1.8 billion for 2013. The numbers represent an increase of 5% or $86 million from the previous year.

Key merchandise export categories for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro region included electrical equipment, computers & electronics, transportation equipment, primary manufactured metals and furniture. Trading partners in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and NAFTA were the leading destinations for Hickory exports.

For more information on exporting, contact the U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Center in Charlotte at 704-333-4886 ext. 229 or visit www.export.gov/northcarolina.

Friday, 05 September 2014 14:16

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charge

31-year-old Patrick Michael Robbins of 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:15 last night (September 4) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.

He was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. Robbins was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

Friday, 05 September 2014 14:04

Lenoir Man Charged with Assault

21-year-old Jordan Christopher Bingham of Bee Mountain Road in Lenoir was arrested by Probation & Parole Officers in Caldwell County yesterday for assault & battery and for a probation violation. Bingham was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $11,000, secured. No court date is currently listed.

19-year-old Erica Sierra Reid of Western Court in Lenoir was arrested by Hickory Police at about 8:45 last night (September 4) on one felony count each for possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. She was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree trespass.

She was arrested after her mother, 56-year-old Deborah Hass, was spotted concealing something in her purse at the Belk store in Hickory’s Valley Hills Mall. Mother and daughter were taken to the Loss Prevention office where it was learned that the two had previously been banned from the store.

Their purses were searched, leading to the discovery of eight pills in Reid’s purse. They were oxymorphone, Klonopin and Percocet. A grinder was also found. The mother was cited for taking a bracelet valued at $16.

Reid was processed at H.P.D. and then released on a $600 secured bond. She will appear in District Court on October 7 in Hickory.