Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:54

Silver Alert Issued for Claremont Man

The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for 96-year-old Max Garland Fulbright. Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for Mr. Fulbright, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Mr. Fulbright is a white male, 5' 6" tall, weighing 110 pounds. He is balding with gray hair and blue eyes. Mr. Fulbright was last seen at 3003 North Oxford Street in Claremont wearing pajamas of an unknown color and brown slippers.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Max Garland Fulbright should call Lt. David Clark at the Claremont Police Department at 828-466-7265.

65-year-old Michael Thomas Chambers of the Turnersburg Highway in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on 69 counts of first-degree sexual offense.

On June 16, the Sheriff’s Office responded to report regarding a child under the age of 12 who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a family member over a period of six years. The incidents reportedly took place from 2009 to 2015. The abuse occurred when the victim visited the suspect at the suspect’s residence.

Detective Sgt. Jason Lowrance was assigned to the investigation. The victim was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Additional witnesses were interviewed and evidence was collected.

As a result of the investigation, Chambers was arrested on August 26. He was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $1 million bond. Chambers will next appear in District Court on September 16.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:05

Multiple Vehicle Break-Ins Reported in Hickory

Hickory Police are investigating a series of vehicle break-ins that occurred Monday night or Tuesday morning (August 31 & September 1).

Six break-ins were reported on 36th Avenue N.W. or on 36th Avenue Circle N.W. Another was reported on 35th Avenue N.W., with one more on North Center Street. In addition, two break-ins took place on Sunday night or Monday morning. Those occurred on 11th Street N.W. and 13th Avenue N.W. A 1997 Nissan Altima was also stolen from 20th Avenue N.E.

One victim on 35th Avenue N.W. is a retired Police Officer. Items stolen from his Chevy Silverado truck include a handgun & holster, a blue strobe light and an item identified as a police knife.

Items taken in the other break-ins include a knife, a handgun, shoes, coins & cash, headphones, an iPod, a wallet, a driver’s license and assorted credit & debit cards.

Hickory Police continue to investigate. Officers are stepping up patrols in the areas where break-ins have occurred. Police encourage citizens not to leave items of value in their vehicles or leave their vehicles unlocked.

Anyone with information regarding the break-ins should call H.P.D. at 828-328-5551.

Berardino “Dino” DiBernardi III has been named Caldwell County Emergency Services Director. DiBernardi will replace Robbie Wilkie, who is retiring effective October 1.

A North Carolina certified paramedic who has been with Caldwell County since 2005, DiBernardi has served as Division Chief for Caldwell County Emergency Medical Services (E.M.S.) since February of 2014.

After graduating from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Promotions & Psychology in 2005, DiBernardi began his career as a field paramedic before transferring to the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management divisions as a Certified Fire Investigator and N.C. Type I Emergency Management Coordinator. DiBernardi then returned to the E.M.S. Division to serve as the Operations Chief prior to his promotion to E.M.S. Chief.

DiBernardi has earned a number of certifications throughout his career and presently serves as a Firefighter and Paramedic for the North Catawba Fire & Rescue Department.

DiBernardi lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Kinley, in Hudson.

In a meeting set for September 10, Doug Bell, Southeast District Business Development Manager for APICS, will discuss APICS’ (the Association for Operations Management) recent mergers with the Supply Chain Council and the American Society of Transportation & Logistics, and current marketing and business development initiatives being launched at the national and district levels.

Mr. Bell has worked in business, primarily in the computer industry, for more than 25 years with a range of companies from the Fortune 50 to small business firms.

Mr. Bell holds a bachelor's degree in Human Resources Management from Southern Wesleyan University and an MBA from University of Phoenix. He has continued his education by participating in both company sponsored executive training and programs such as the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

The meeting will be held at the Catawba Valley Country Club from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit apics254-foothills.org.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 11:18

Active Outdoor Space Coming to Granite Falls

The Town of Granite Falls Parks & Recreation Department recently received a grant to transform a public area into an imaginative space for families to play and be active outdoors. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA) are supporting healthier communities by installing PlayPrints across the state.

PlayPrints are ground markings or colorful shapes and games that are painted on existing pavement. The bright colors and interactive designs are meant to encourage visitors to take part in more physical activity.

PlayPrints will be located beside a playground facility at the Granite Falls Recreation Center on a newly resurfaced asphalt area. The location is currently not being used and was previously used as an outdoor basketball and volleyball court.

The Granite Falls Recreation Center will be the only facility in Caldwell County to have PlayPrints. It is intended to open the door for new and innovative ways for all residents in the area to stay healthy and fit.

28-year-old J.P. Thrower of Lakeshore Drive in Selma, Oregon was arrested by Boone Police Friday (August 28). He was charged with one felony count each of attempted first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, soliciting a child by computer and dissemination of obscenity.

Thrower’s arrest was the result of a joint operation involving Boone Police, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.), North Carolina Probation & Parole, the Watauga County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.

The ICAC is a partnership of shared information and resources to combat the growing problem of crimes against children using the internet. The ICAC Task Force is led by the S.B.I. and consists of approximately 140 law enforcement agencies.

In Thrower’s case, a Boone Police Detective posed as a 14-year-old girl on a popular social media web site. Thrower sought out the Investigator and an online encounter began. The Detective maintained his undercover role as a child throughout the entirety of the investigation.

Thrower indicated that he was in Oregon, but was about to travel to the Boone area to visit a family member. Thrower requested a rendezvous for sexual purposes in Boone at a local hotel on a specific date and time. When Thrower arrived at the pre-arranged location, he was arrested by a Boone Police Detective and an S.B.I. Special Agent.

Thrower also indicated that he worked on a legal marijuana farm in Oregon and said he had mailed a package containing marijuana to a residence in Watauga County’s Foscoe community. Detectives learned that the resident in Foscoe was on probation in Watauga County. Officers from multiple agencies searched the residence and seized approximately one pound of marijuana during this search. No charges have been filed for the marijuana at this time.

Following his arrest, Thrower was jailed under a $150,000 secured bond with a court appearance scheduled for September 17.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 10:39

HPD K-9 Passes Away

The Hickory Police Department has announced that one of their K-9 Officers, Barry, has died. Barry, whose handler, Sgt. Jeff Medley, called him Sgt. Bear, passed away on Friday, August 28. He was 12.5 years old. K-9 Barry retired a few years ago after several years of dedicated service to the citizens of Hickory.

62-year-old James Rosco Hyde of Statesville was arrested without incident by Statesville Police this morning (August 31) on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

On Saturday (August 29) at 10:34 p.m., Statesville Police took a report regarding a subject suffering from a laceration to his arm in front of a residence on the 200 block of North Patterson Street in Statesville. Officers and Iredell County EMS arrived on scene and found Larry Culler of Statesville lying in the grass with a severe laceration to his right arm. Culler was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital and then to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators spoke with the victim and with other witnesses. Investigators learned that the victim was at a residence on North Patterson Street playing cards outside when the suspect, 62-year-old James Hyde of Statesville, walked up to the residence. Hyde and Culler got into a verbal altercation that became physical. Hyde reportedly pulled out a box cutter and cut Culler on the arm.

Following his arrest, Hyde was placed in the Iredell County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

51-year-old Brady Wayne Gaither and 27-year-old Elizabeth Dianne Virtue, both from the Iredell County community of Olin, have been arrested on charges of identity theft, one count for Gaither and 16 counts for Virtue. Virtue was also charged with financial card theft and financial card fraud.

The arrest stems from a report filed on May 6. The victim said she found 18 fraudulent uses of her debit and credit cards throughout Iredell and Mecklenburg counties. She discovered the fraudulent transactions when she received her card statements in the mail. During the investigation, Detectives with the Sheriff’s Economic Crime Unit retrieved video surveillance from the businesses where the stolen cards were used and identified the suspects as Gaither and Virtue.

Warrants were issued and Gaither was taken into custody on August 22. Virtue was arrested on August 26. Gaither was given an $11,000 secured bond, while bond for Virtue was set at $15,000, secured. Both subjects were placed in the Iredell County Detention Center with District Court dates scheduled for September 14.