Black's Tire & Service, Inc. will host a Customer Appreciation Day on Thursday, June 1.  The event will kick-off with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.  It will run through 1 p.m.  Black's Tire & Service is located at 630 Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory in the old Freightliner building.

Those attending will have the opportunity to meet the staff, and factory representatives and vendors will be onsite to answer any questions.  Catfish filets, chicken tenders, quarter-pound hotdogs and all the trimmings will be catered by Myra’s.  Door prizes will also be given away.

Officials from Catawba County Animal Services removed 358 animals from a residence in Claremont yesterday (May 24).  The animals were discovered the previous day during an unrelated investigation by the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office.  After obtaining a warrant, the chickens, dogs and a cat were removed by Animal Services.

Catawba County officials are investigating whether the chickens were used for cockfighting.  Many of the animals appeared to be injured with open sores and missing feathers.  Others were sick and showed signs of neglect.  In addition to the live animals, officials also found 40 dead animals in cages and pens.

The animals were taken to a secure location and immediately fed and hydrated.  They are being examined by veterinarians and tested for communicable diseases.  They are also being evaluated for potential re-homing.  Catawba County is working with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to assure the humane treatment of the animals and that all steps are being taken to protect the public’s health.

The investigation is ongoing.  Findings from the investigation will be shared with the District Attorney.

The Conover Fire Department responded to Rock Barn Country Club & Spa this morning (May 25) where smoke alarms forced the evacuation of the spa.

WHKY spoke to Captain Mark Stafford who said that the problem originated with a dryer that failed to vent properly.  He said that there was no actual fire, but the dryer vented steam and other particulants into the downstairs area in the spa, setting off the smoke alarms.

Firefighters responded at 10:20 a.m.  Guests and employees were allowed to go back inside at about 11:30 a.m.  No one was injured and no property damage was reported.

Captain Stafford said maintenance work was performed on the dryers yesterday.  In the course of that work, material was dislodged from the interior of the dryers’ ventilation system.  Because of high humidity, the material was not cleared from the pipes, but instead became trapped in an elbow joint where it formed a blockage.

53-year-old Jeffrey Brent Church of Edwards Circle in Connelly Springs has been arrested by the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Inner-County Counterdrug Enforcement (I.C.E.) Unit on charges of felony trafficking in methamphetamine by possession and trafficking in meth by transportation.

Church had been the focus of an undercover drug investigation for several months.  He was initially arrested and charged with trafficking in meth on April 27 after a search warrant was executed at his residence on Pinewood Road in Granite Falls.  During that search, just over $9,000 in cash, firearms, approximately 39 grams of meth and 53 oxycodone pills were seized.  At that time, Church was released after posting bond for pending drug charges in both Catawba and Caldwell counties.

Yesterday (May 23), Church was arrested following a vehicle stop on White Pine Drive in Sawmills as the result of a separate investigation conducted by the I.C.E. Unit.  Church was found to be in possession of approximately 56.5 grams of meth, two pistols, and $4,637 in cash.  The drugs seized during both operations have an estimated street value of $16,935.

Following his most recent arrest, Church was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond.  He’ll make a first appearance in District Court tomorrow in Lenoir.

Additional charges are expected.

18-year-old Corey Jermaine Brodie of Zion Church Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 7 p.m. yesterday (May 23) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Events leading to his arrest began earlier in the day when a subject shoplifted a multi-device flash drive from the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory.  Police responded to the store as the subject attempted to return the stolen flash drive.  The suspect had left the store by the time Police arrived.

Later, a person matching the suspect description was a passenger in a 2014 Ford Mustang that was stopped on Highway 70 S.E.  He was identified as Corey Brodie.

Brodie was taken into custody without incident.  He was released into his mother’s custody under a $1,000 secured bond.  Brodie was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

43-year-old Joseph Bob Mays, Jr. of 13th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 11:40 Tuesday morning (May 23) on one felony count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.  He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Hickory Police responded to an anonymous call regarding a drug overdose at a hotel on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory.  Officers arrived and found an unresponsive female subject in the hotel room.  She treated and transported to Frye Regional Medical Center.  According to Police, the female subject was responsive as of 3:30 yesterday afternoon.

Joseph Mays was also in the room.  A search led to the discovery of five dosage units of Alprazolam, 8.3 grams of methamphetamine, 2.6 grams of heroin and 1.5 grams of marijuana.
 
Mays was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond.  A first appearance in District Court was set for today (May 24) in Newton.

Just before 10:15 this morning (May 23), Statesville Police responded to a reported home invasion that took place at a mobile home on Park Drive in Statesville.  Officers found an adult male stabbing victim and a female victim across the street at a neighbor’s residence where they went to seek help.

Investigators learned that two suspects kicked open the mobile home’s front door and then kicked open the 43-year-old male victim’s bedroom door.  A struggle ensued in the bedroom and the male victim was stabbed.  The 55-year-old female victim said one of the suspects forced open her bedroom door and dragged her from the bedroom.

Both suspects fled from the mobile home park on foot, headed east, possibly into a wooded area.  The suspects were described as two black males with dark clothing.  They had their hoodies pulled up and may have been wearing bandanas.  One of the suspects may have been armed with a handgun.

The male victim was initially taken to Iredell Memorial Hospital.  He was later transferred, in stable condition, to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for further treatment.  The female victim was not injured.  The victim’s names have not been released.

The investigation is in its early stages.  Police cannot say at this time if the incident is connected to another home invasion last week at an 81-year-old male victim’s residence on Stockton Street.

Anyone with information should contact Statesville Police at 704-878-3406 or Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340.  Callers can remain anonymous.

On May 19, the Caldwell County Health Department was one of 15 health departments that were awarded reaccredidation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department.

According to Accreditation Administrator Amy Belflower Thomas, the reaccredited agencies “demonstrate a strong commitment to continuously work to improve the quality of services provided to their respective communities”.

North Carolina is the first state in the country to mandate accreditation for its local health departments.  The purpose of the accreditation program is to assure a basic level of capacity and services in each of the local health departments across the state.

In December of last year, the Caldwell County Health Department provided evidence to a site-visit team to show proficiency in 147 benchmarks.  They also participated in an on-site visit on March 9 & 10 of this year.  The team evaluated the evidence provided and determined that Caldwell County Health Department showed competency in 145 of the 147 benchmarks.

For more information, contact Anna Martin with the Caldwell County Health Department at amartin@caldwellcountync.org or 828-426-8506.

41-year-old John Matthew Ward of 20th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 5:50 Sunday morning (May 21) on one felony count of breaking & entering a trailer or aircraft and one misdemeanor count of larceny.

He was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a breaking & entering call at the Sears store in Hickory’s Valley Hills Mall.  The suspect, identified as John Ward, was taking used tires from a trailer that belonged to the business.  Ward was taken into custody without incident on the scene.

He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $16,000 secured bond.  A first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday (May 22) with Ward’s next court date coming up on June 12.

50-year-old Raymond Jerome Alford, Jr. of Hickory pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by felon and the sale of marijuana during Catawba Co. Superior Court yesterday (May 22).  He was also convicted as an habitual felon.  The Honorable Lisa C. Bell, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, sentenced Alford to serve six-to-nine years in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

The firearms charges came about in August of 2013 when Catawba County Sheriff‘s Deputies recovered a .380 semiautomatic handgun during a drug search at Alford’s residence.  Sgt. Lance Hopper led the investigation for the Sheriff’s Office.

In November 2015, Long View Undercover Officers purchased marijuana from Alford, leading to his arrest on the drug charges.  Sgt. J.K. Roberts investigated the case for Long View Police Department.

Alford’s habitual felon status included prior felony convictions for breaking & entering (November 1987), larceny after breaking & entering (June 1992) and obtaining property by false pretense (April 2002).  All those convictions were in Gaston County.

Assistant District Attorneys Kyle Smith and Lance Sigmon handled the prosecution for the State.

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