Monday, 26 September 2016 11:53

Corning Will Bring 105 New Jobs to Hickory

Corning Incorporated will invest at least $30 million to expand its optical cable production plant in Hickory, creating 105 new jobs over the next five years with an average wage of $58,000. The announcement was made today (September 26). According to Corning, the expansion will support strong global demand fueled by fiber-to-the-home deployments, data center builds and wireless network expansions.

Corning’s expansions in Hickory are facilitated in part by an award to the company from North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program that was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Local incentives were scheduled for consideration today by both the City of Hickory and Catawba County at a joint meeting.

Corning, which has been in Hickory for approximately 35 years, is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its expertise in specialty glass, ceramics and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries. For more information, visit

The City of Morganton’s Parks & Recreation Department will hold a public meeting about the city’s planned skate park. The Meeting will be held at the Collett Street Recreation Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 6.

Parks & Recreation Director Rob Winkler said he hopes to get some ideas and feedback from local skaters on what they want in a skate park. Winkler may also discuss possible locations for the park.

The city budgeted money in the 2016-2017 budget to help build the skate park. The Morganton Recreation Foundation also committed funds.

The Collett Street Recreation Center is located at 300 Collett Street in downtown Morganton.

26-year-old Christian Guy Baur of Pineville, N.C. and 27-year-old Charlotte Ruth Overman of Charlotte were both arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 8 a.m. Friday (September 23) on three felony counts each of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property, plus three misdemeanor counts each of larceny.

Events leading to their arrests began at about 6 a.m. Friday when Police responded to a reported vehicle break-in on 29th Avenue Drive N.W. Officers arrived to find out that three vehicles had been broken into. One was unlocked and two had windows broken.

At about 7:30 a.m., Officers responded to reports of a suspicious subject at the Bojangles restaurant on North Center Street. Police located a male and a female carrying a box and multiple bags. Among the items in their possession were documents belonging to two of the victims from the vehicle break-ins. Other items from the break-ins were found, including athletic shoes, a laptop computer, a coffee maker and a notebook. Total value of the stolen items was estimated at $680.

The suspects, Christian Baur and Charlotte Overman, were taken into custody without incident. They were both confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $25,000, secured. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today (September 26) in Newton.

The same couple was arrested by Hickory Police on August 28 of this year in connection to the theft of a motor vehicle.

18-year-old Tyshon Jaiquia Saxton of 4th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 6:45 Friday evening (September 23) on one felony count of robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons.

Saxton is the third person arrested in connection to an armed robbery Sunday (September 18) at Firehouse Subs on North Center Street in Hickory. 17-year-old Ahmad Shaakim Smith and 21-year-old Demontae O’Neil Spence, both from Hickory, were arrested last Thursday (September 22), as reported by WHKY the following day.

Previously, a Police spokesperson had told WHKY that there were two suspects in the robbery; however, H.P.D. now says two suspects entered the restaurant while a third suspect was the driver. It’s not clear at this time which suspect was the driver. All three face the same felony armed robbery charge.

Saxton was taken into custody without incident at H.P.D. headquarters Friday. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (September 26) in Newton.

Smith remains in custody under a $50,000 secured bond. He and Spence were both due in court Friday. Smith has another court date set for October. Spence is no longer in custody and no additional court date is currently listed.

Catawba County Public Health reports an increased number of cases of infectious diarrhea recently and is asking the public to be vigilant about thorough handwashing and disinfection, especially in homes with children. Parents are also asked to keep sick children at home from school or childcare, especially if they have diarrhea. Handwashing should be performed at key times, such as after going to the bathroom, before preparing meals, before eating and after changing a diaper.

The recommendation follows laboratory-confirmed cases of Shigella, a highly infectious disease that can cause severe diarrhea. Catawba County Public Health is working with childcare providers and schools, along with physicians and state epidemiological experts to stop the spread in the community. Because it is highly contagious in school and child care settings, state leaders work with the local health department to assist with prompt intervention measures that may help prevent the spread of Shigella to others. The uptick is similar to cases in several other counties across the state.

Symptoms of Shigella include fever, abdominal cramps, chills, headache, body aches or diarrhea. It is important for parents, caregivers and educators to watch for potential symptoms in children and in other people in the home. Anyone with symptoms should stay home from school, childcare and other group settings. Persons with symptoms should not go to work, especially if they are in foodservice or healthcare settings.

For kindergarten-age and younger children, it is recommended that parents take children with symptoms to their medical providers for evaluation and possible testing. Older children may return to school 48 hours after symptoms resolve.

For more information, contact a primary care provider or call Catawba County Public Health at 828-695-5800.

Monday, 26 September 2016 07:18

Two Arrested in Catawba County on Meth Charges

20-year-old Jonathan William Meyer and 21-year-old Vanetta Lynn Davis, both of the same address on Double Circle Drive in Conover, have been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers. Meyer was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Both suspects were charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession or distribution of meth precursors.

They were both placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility Friday (September 23). Meyer is being held without bond. Davis’ bond was set at $30,000, secured. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today (September 26) in Newton.

Monday, 26 September 2016 07:10

Governor in Catawba County this Morning

Governor Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III will be in Catawba County this morning. They’ll be at Catawba Valley Community College’s Corporate Development Center where an economic development announcement is planned. The event is set for 10 a.m. today. The Governor’s appearance is not open to the general public.

The Corporate Development Center is located at 2664 Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory.

33-year-old Brian Jerome Robinson, 26-year-old Icey Chennell Gooden and 32-year-old Brandy Nicole Davis, all of the same address on Jamestown Road in Morganton, have been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to the murders of Albert Alexander Austin and Mr. Spencer “Jermain” Murray. In addition, Scott Devon Hemphill of Farmer Street in Charlotte was taken into custody in Mecklenburg County by Officers with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team earlier this morning. With the exception of Davis, the suspects were charged with two counts each of felony murder. Davis was charged with felony accessory after the fact to homicide.

Events leading to the arrests began shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, September 18, when Burke County Deputies were dispatched to Canoe Creek Way in Morganton in reference to a burned vehicle. Deputies found what appeared to be human remains in the vehicle. Investigators learned that the vehicle was a Cadillac Deville belonging to Albert Alexander Austin, but registered to Spencer “Jermain” Murray.

Mr. Austin’s remains were identified earlier this week. The second victim has now been identified as Mr. Murray, with scientific verification pending.

Through further investigation, Authorities were able to identify four suspects as the persons responsible for the murders. Robinson, Davis and Gooden were taken into custody without incident yesterday afternoon (September 22).

The three were jailed in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility. Robinson and Gooden were held without bond. Davis was given a $250,000 secured bond. They were scheduled to make first appearances in a Burke County courtroom today. Hemphill is also being held without bond. No court date is currently listed for him.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should call the Burke County Sheriff at 828-438-5506 or Burke County Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333.

Other agencies involved include the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Oak Hill Fire & Rescue, West End Fire & Rescue, the Burke County Fire Marshall’s Office, the Burke County Medical Examiner, the North Carolina License & Theft Bureau, the Forest City Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

31-year-old Joshua Aaron Crosby of Mountain View Boulevard in Morganton was arrested yesterday afternoon (September 22) by Hickory Police. He's charged with felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Crosby was also charged with speeding and misdemeanor larceny.

On Saturday, September 3, a 28-year-old male victim from Morganton was approached by a woman in the parking lot at the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard. The woman asked if the man wanted to buy a Target gift card at a discounted rate. The man declined. A short time later, the man reconsidered and approached the vehicle, expressing an interest in the gift card.

There were three people in the vehicle. They told the victim to get in. He did so, and the vehicle left the parking lot and headed north on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. During that time, the victim said he was choked and a knife was displayed. The suspects obtained money from the victim, who was then released on 7th Street S.E. The victim refused treatment from E.M.S. It’s not clear if he was acquainted with any of the vehicle’s three occupants.

Crosby is the third person arrested in connection to the case. 27-year-old Jessica Dawn Flynn of Harwell Road in Catawba and 25-year-old Ryan Scott Gibson of Woodstone Drive in Newton were both previously taken into custody; Gibson on the day of the incident and Flynn the following day.

Crosby was also charged in connection to an incident the same day in which he attempted to return merchandise for a refund that he had previously stolen from Target. Employees saw him conceal a flashlight and headphones and exit the store without paying. He came back later for a refund, but was not allowed to return the items. That incident apparently led to the identification of the suspects in the kidnapping case.

Following his arrest yesterday, Crosby was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $41,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was set for today in Newton.

Friday, 23 September 2016 10:22

Two Arrested for Robbery at Firehouse Subs

17-year-old Ahmad Shaakim Smith of 1st Street N.W. and 21-year-old Demontae O’Neil Spence of 16th Street N.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (September 22). They were each charged with one count of felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. Spence was also served a warrant from August 2015 for misdemeanor failure to appear.

The two were arrested in connection to an armed robbery Sunday (September 18) at Firehouse Subs on North Center Street in Hickory, which was reported the following day on WHKY. The suspects allegedly entered the restaurant, which closed at 9 p.m., through a rear door and took an undisclosed sum of cash from an employee who was counting the money. One of the men displayed a handgun. The suspects exited through the same back door and fled on foot. No injuries were reported.

Smith, who is listed on H.P.D.’s arrest report as a student at Hickory High School, was taken into custody without incident at 2:30 p.m. at the school. Spence was arrested without incident at H.P.D. headquarters shortly after 11 p.m. yesterday. Both suspects were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Smith set at $50,000, secured, while Spence was given a $25,025 secured bond. They were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court today in Newton.

News Arrest Disclaimer:
The individuals depicted have been arrested but not convicted at the time of story postings. This information does not infer or imply guilt of any actions or activity other than their arrest. We make no warranty or guaranty as to the accuracy of this data.

© 2016 Long Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved
526 Main Avenue SE, Hickory, NC 28602 - Phone: 828-322-1290 - Fax: 828-322-8256