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A prisoner in detention in Watauga County has died.

At approximately 1:30 Friday (March 6), 53-year-old Elbert Lee McClain of 25 South “F” Avenue in Maiden attempted to harm himself by strangulation while in the Watauga Co. Sheriff’s single-cell confinement unit.

Detention Officers quickly responded and removed the inmate-improvised strangulation device from Mr. McClain. Detention staff quickly checked Mr. McClain’s vitals and found that he had no pulse.

An automatic defibrillator was used and a pulse was detected. E.M.S. responded and took the victim to Watauga Medical Center. Watauga Medics continued to detect a pulse during transport. At the hospital, the Emergency Department medical staff worked on Mr. McCain for several hours. They believed that the victim had sustained oxygen deprivation. Mr. McClain later passed away while in the Intensive Care Unit.

Prior to the medical event, Mr. McClain had been checked on earlier and staff noted that Mr. McLain was previously seen in his cell, eating his noontime meal. According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, the single cell area has only one camera that looks into a cell. The remaining single cells have cameras pointing up and down the hallway.

Mr. McClain was arrested last Wednesday (March 4) on multiple drug trafficking charges. He also faced charges for sexual battery stemming from a February 2014 incident in Catawba County.

Monday, 09 March 2015 13:55

Hickory Man Busted for Crack & Marijuana

24-year-old Kevin Lee Hill, Jr. of 8th Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 3 p.m. (yesterday) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

Hill was arrested after Officers saw a suspicious vehicle parked at the Ridgeview Recreation Center in Hickory. Officers smelled marijuana as they approached. Each of the vehicle’s two occupants were searched, leading to the discovery of 1.6 grams of marijuana and 1.8 grams of crack cocaine on Hill’s person.

Hill was taken into custody without incident. The other person was not charged. Hill was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

55-year-old Mary Massey Roark of Northside Drive in Hiddenite was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6 p.m. yesterday (March 8) on three felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

She was arrested after three stolen checks were made out to Mary Roark and subsequently cashed. The checks were drawn from the victim’s account at the Telco Credit Union. The victim, a Morganton man, said his checkbook had been stolen.

Roark was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

WHKY reminds the public that it’s time to spring forward this weekend. When local standard time is about to reach two o’clock this Sunday morning (March 8), all clocks should set forward one hour to 3 a.m., or simply set clocks forward one hour before going to bed Saturday night.

Sunrise and sunset will be about one hour later on March 8 than the day before. As a result, there will be more light in the evening.

The Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board (WPWDB) has created a website designed to offer access to job search tools, grant information, business resources and materials vital to job seekers and businesses in the Unifour area. The new website went live today (March 6). The website is available at www.westernpiedmontworks.org or it can be accessed by visiting www.wpcog.org and clicking on the "Workforce Development" link under "Services."

The website features a Career Centers that includes regular updates and postings regarding workshops, job fairs, business recruitment events, training opportunities, grants and articles related to both job seekers and employers.

The Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board is housed within the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), a voluntary association of local governments. Local governments eligible for WPCOG membership include Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties and the 24 cities and towns within those counties.

Friday, 06 March 2015 13:31

McDowell County Man Wins Big in NCEL

Jack Piercy, Jr. of McDowell County was on his way to visit a family member in Morganton on Monday morning when he stopped to buy fuel at the Gate store on Green Street. There, he bought the winning $10 ticket in the North Carolina Education Lottery’s (NCEL) $1,000,000 Jackpot game.

A $1 million prize in the game can be claimed in 20 annuity payments of $50,000 or a one-time payment of $600,000. Piercy chose the lump sum, worth $415,503 after taxes.

Piercy is a native of Old Fort and a retired locomotive engineer. He says he’ll let his wife decide how to spend the prize money. Piercy says they may use some of their winnings to travel, but also says the couple will share with their four sons and five grandchildren.

After Piercy’s win, two $1 million prizes remain to be claimed in the NCEL’s $1,000,000 Jackpot game.

The Hickory Rotary Club has announced the Top 20 contestants for its musical fundraiser, Rotarian Idol. The event will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

A total of 20 contestants have been chosen to compete for $5,000 in total prize money. First place will win $2,500, second place $1,500, third place $500; and $500 is awarded to the audience favorite.

The fundraiser is co-chaired by Rotarians John Rambo and Sandi Fotheringham. Ticket sales are chaired by Rambo. The advertising & major sponsor sales chair is past-president Allen Finley.

100% of the money raised will be used to benefit education throughout Catawba County and other humanitarian causes that Rotary supports. Rambo expects this year’s event to raise at least $70,000.

Adult tickets are $20. Tickets for children and students with a valid student ID are $10. Advertisements in the show program are available at $500 for a full-page ad; $250 for a half-page ad; and $150 for a quarter-page ad. Major sponsorships are $1,000.

For more information, visit www.hickoryrotary.org; contact Rambo at 828-327-3855 ext. 103 or john@hickorytheatre.org; or contact Allen Finley at 828-324-6700 or allen@finleyadvertising.com.

39-year-old Antonio Dwaine Green of Hildebran Mountain Avenue in Icard was arrested by Hickory Police just before 5 p.m. yesterday (March 5) on one felony count of larceny by servant or other employee.

He was arrested after a manager at Dunkin’ Donuts in Hickory noticed in late November of last year that the store’s deposits came up short by a small amount on several occasions. Surveillance footage confirmed Green as the suspect. Warrants for his arrest were issued on December 3.

He was taken into custody without incident not far from the Valley Crossing shopping center on Highway 70 S.E. Green was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,500 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

The intersection of 14th Avenue N.W. at 6th Street N.W. will be closed tomorrow (March 6) beginning at 8:30 a.m. for repairs to the signals that sustained damaged from a tree that fell yesterday.

There is a detour route in place during the closure. A detour map is included with this article.

For more information, call Caroline M. Kone at the Public Works Traffic Department at 828-323-7500 or email ckone@hickorync.gov.

24-year-old Jordan Dwayne Wilcox of N.W. Wilson Street in Lenoir was arrested by Granite Falls Police yesterday (March 4) on charges of misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods. He was also charged by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers with an electronic house arrest violation and a failed drug test. In addition, Wilcox faces charges for possession of stolen goods, breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.

Following his arrest, Wilcox was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $57,500 secured bond. District Court appearances in Lenoir were set for March 19 and April 20.