58-year-old Jack Byron White of Lenoir was convicted yesterday (September 9) in Caldwell County Criminal Superior Court of felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. White was sentenced to no less than 26 months and no more than 44 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.
The crime occurred in November 2012 in Lenoir. White was driving a vehicle on Highway 321 North in Caldwell County when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median and struck a vehicle traveling south on Highway 321. 92-year-old Howard Lee Roper of Lenoir, who was a passenger in the vehicle that was hit, was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead as the result of injuries sustained in the crash. A retrograde extrapolation of the blood obtained from the defendant was conducted by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. At the time of the crash, White’s blood alcohol level was .08.
Lenoir Police Officer Chris Bumgarner conducted the investigation and Assistant District Attorney David Swanson prosecuted the case. The Honorable Robert T. Sumner presided over the conviction.
White will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.
At the request of the Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. Center for Missing Persons has cancelled the Silver Alert for 44-year-old Teresa Ann Smith. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Smith is safe. No further details are available at this time.
The latest addition to the City of Hickory’s public art collection will be dedicated today (Wednesday, September 10) at 5:30 p.m.
It will be Hickory’s 20th piece of public art (not including the public art benches). The sculpture, called “Lodola,” comes from artist & sculptor Joel Urruty, who lives in Hickory. Urruty won a merit award in 2013 from the Caldwell Arts Council for “Lodola.”
The community is invited and encouraged to attend the dedication. The event will be held at the Sally M. Fox Park (the old Carolina Park) on Highway 127, across from Fire Station #1.
Public Art Commission members are appointed by the Hickory City Council. The commission provides a forum for integrating public art into the public space, to help create a visual sense of the community and to provide leadership in implementing a public art program for the city.
45-year-old Lisa Dawn Wentworth of Old Trenton Place in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (September 8) on a charge of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine. She was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $100,000, secured. Wentworth was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.
40-year-old Marya Hudson Kirby of Rhoney Farm Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police just before 4:30 yesterday afternoon (September 8) on one felony count of habitual shoplifting.
She was arrested after Police were called to the Wal-Mart store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Loss Prevention Officers there allegedly saw Kirby leave the store with merchandise she had not paid for. She was taken back inside until Police arrived.
Officers learned that Kirby had previously been banned from the store. She was previously convicted of shoplifting in April 2003, June 2005, September 2009 and May 2011. The items taken yesterday include a knit top, Axe body spray, sunglasses, a USB cable, lens cleaner, a birthday decoration, a mirror, hair clips, two sunglasses cases and a Bic lighter case, all with a total value of $121.
Kirby was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $4,000 secured bond. She will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.
26-year-old Ashley Nicole Hunt, 25-year-old Armod Rashad Hunt and 47-year-old Barbara Jean Teague have all been arrested by Lincolnton Police on drug charges. They face multiple felony charges that include trafficking in opiates by possession, conspiring to traffick in opiates by possession, possession with intent to sell or deliver hydrocodone, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery and conspiring to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or forgery.
Events leading to their arrests began on Friday, August 8, when a report was filed with the Lincolnton Police Department in reference to several suspects making, forging and passing fraudulent prescriptions for themselves and then having them filled. The case was assigned to Lincolnton Police Det. Dennis Harris for investigation. The Hunts and Teague were all identified as suspects.
Det. Harris obtained several felony warrants for the three suspects. They were picked up last week in Maggie Valley and placed temporarily in the Haywood County Detention Center before being transported to Lincoln County.
Ashley Hunt was given a $250,000 secured bond, while Armod Hunt’s bond was set at $100,000, secured. Teague was held under a $30,000 secured bond. The three were scheduled to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom on September 25.
Area doctors’ offices and pharmacies have assisted and cooperated in the investigation, which involved locations in Lincoln, Gaston and Catawba counties. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has also assisted in the investigation.
The investigation is ongoing with additional arrests expected.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners yesterday (September 8) unanimously approved the Highway 150 Corridor Plan following a presentation by County Planning Director Jacky Eubanks and a brief public hearing. The plan is designed to give the county an opportunity to identify growth areas along the corridor and improve job opportunities in southeastern Catawba County.
The Commissioners also approved the Work First County Plan, the Proposed Schedule of Values presented by Tax Administrator Mark Logan and a Report & Settlement of 2013 Taxes presented by Tax Collector Lori Mathes.
In addition, the Board unanimously approved a three-item consent agenda.
Yesterday (September 8), the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners proclaimed September as Hunger Awareness Month in an effort to encourage local residents to join with government to support local non-profit food pantries and soup kitchens. The Commissioners also approved budget amendments for the county's health department and heard from the Highway-321 Association, which is seeking to raise awareness and support for local businesses along the Highway 321 corridor.
Carrie Carmar, President of Our House Designs, is hosting a luncheon and Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of Ryan Ward. Ryan Ward has had ALS since 2009 when he was diagnosed at age 31 and faces ever-mounting medical bills.
The owner, all employees and family members will take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Our House Designs will make a donation in Ryan’s honor to the ALS Association of North Carolina’s Catfish Hunter Chapter.
The event will take place on Thursday, September 11 at Our House Designs at 6429 Hildebran Shelby Road in Long View. Call 828-326-6100 for more information.
Donations to help defray Ryan Ward’s medical expenses may be mailed to Wanda Ward at 30 Steel Bridge Loop or to Robin Banks at 1308 1st Avenue N.W., both in Hickory with a 28601 zip code.
Yesterday (Monday, September 8) Statesville Police were notified of a break-in that took place earlier that morning at Carolina BBQ on Salisbury Road in Statesville.
When employees arrived at work Monday morning, they discovered that someone had broken into the business through the back door. The initial investigation revealed that the suspect cut the wires to the alarm system and then used a blunt object to force open a rear door. Once inside, the suspect pried open the door to the business office, cut the lock off the safe and removed two bags of money from inside.
Anyone with information concerning the break-in should contact the Statesville Police Criminal Investigations Division at 704-878-3515 or Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340. Callers can remain anonymous and a cash reward is possible.