Authorities are searching for an inmate who reportedly escaped from the Alexander County Detention Center last evening (Thursday, January 17). The inmate was reportedly a trustee who took off while taking out trash.

According to published reports, authorities said Jason Mullen, who is reported to be from the Statesville area, may have stolen a vehicle from the Catawba Valley Community College Alexander Center for Education and Applied Technology which is adjacent to the jail. The 1987 gray Dodge truck has a license tag reading DKJ 7042.

59-year-old Dennis Blaine Robinson of Old North Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (January 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Robinson was released this morning (January 18) on $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Wednesday (January 23).

48-year-old Stacie Lea McCraw of Edisto Street in Lenoir was arrested Thursday by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged on a felony fugitive warrant from another state. McCraw is wanted on unspecified charges in Richmond Virginia. She's also charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense. McCraw was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $110,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Wednesday (January 23).

A transportation plan to continue serving citizens in Burke and Caldwell counties has been put in to action on the Castle Bridge. A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation started repairing the 57-year-old bridge over the Catawba River last week in order to extend its life until a new parallel bridge can be constructed.

Division 13 Resident Engineer Nathan Moneyham said “The goal of making these temporary repairs is to keep the existing bridge open at all times for local residents. These repairs will serve the citizens in the short term while the new bridge will serve everybody for decades to come.”

NCDOT engineers and local officials chose to make the short-terms repairs in order to design and develop a new bridge. Original plans consisted of making structural repairs to the existing bridge that would last about 15 years, but would require a 30-minute detour for more than a year.

Engineers and officials developed a plan following multiple public meetings during which transportation officials addressed the concerns of local leaders and community business owners. A contract for the new bridge is scheduled to be awarded in 2024.

The contract to repair and paint structural steel with Astron General Contracting is worth $488,000 and includes specific restrictions to limit interruptions to local traffic. Lanes may not be closed between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., and the bridge should not be completely closed at any time. Some nighttime lane closures may restrict traffic to one lane. The work should be completed by July to accommodate the average of 9,000 vehicles per day.

23-year-old Dechealyn Montario Goode was arrested Wednesday (January 16) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle and misdemeanor larceny of property, receiving or possessing stolen goods. Goode was arrested at 9:38 p.m. Wednesday at an address on Greenbriar Lane in Morganton. He was placed in jail under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (January 18).

Companies located in two area counties are among six North Carolina businesses who received 2018 Governor’s Export Awards Monday (January 14). They were honored during a ceremony highlighting their success in increasing overseas sales, as well as the significant role exporting plays in the state’s economy. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the state's export of goods and services supports more than 400,000 jobs in the state.

The companies receiving 2018 Governor’s Export Awards in a ceremony at the North Carolina Executive Mansion included Bernhardt Furniture Company from Caldwell County and Advanced Detection Technology from Iredell County.

Bernhardt Furniture was named as the Top Rural Exporter. Established in Lenoir in 1889, Bernhardt remains one of the country’s largest family-owned furniture companies. With more than 1,250 employees worldwide, the company manufacturers furniture at eight locations in North Carolina and maintains corporate offices in High Point and six overseas locations.

Advanced Detection Technology in Mooresville was named as Top Small Business Exporter. This company is a world leader in the design and engineering of under-vehicle inspection systems to detect vehicle-borne threats. Advance Detection Technology has sales, marketing and technical support operations in North America, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

The Governor’s Office developed the export award program in collaboration with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

A second person has been charged in connection to the theft of lawn equipment valued at more than $9,000 from a Lincolnton business. One suspect had already been taken into custody in this case.

As WHKY previously reported, 27-year-old Dustin Lee Mullinax of North Lincoln Street in High Shoals was arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers and charged with two felony counts apiece of breaking and entering a building, larceny after breaking and entering, conspiracy and possession of stolen goods. He's also charged with one misdemeanor count apiece of breaking and entering to a motor vehicle and larceny. 28-year-old Christopher Brian Bell of Dallas has been named as the second suspect in the case, he is being sought by authorities and faces the same charges as Mullinax.

On January 3, 2019 deputies responded a residence on Prince Drive in Lincolnton in reference to a burglary. The victim told officers that he had been on vacation and when he returned his building, truck and house had been broken into. The victim runs a lawn care business and a number of items were reported stolen. Stolen in the break-in were two 60 inch cut zero turn mowers, two brush cutters, two backpack blowers, an air compressor and other items including a laptop and approximately $200 in change.

During the investigation detectives learned that a neighbor saw a silver or blue van pull into the driveway of the home on Christmas Eve. Two people exited the vehicle and started loading equipment in the van and on a trailer. The neighbor did not find that suspicious because the van had been there before. A former employee, Dustin Lee Mullinax, was developed as one of the suspects and officers discovered that some of the items had been pawned at area pawn shops in Gaston County. All of the stolen property was recovered except for a zero turn mower and a utility trailer. A generator and an IPad were recovered from the Mullinax residence in High Shoals, NC.

Detective Justin Link continued the investigation and identified the second suspect as Christopher Brian Bell. Mullinax was arrested on January 6 and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. He had a District Court appearance scheduled today (January 17). Deputies were continuing their search for Bell. If you have information on this case contact the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

An Alexander County woman is among new supsects added to the Iredell County most wanted list. 24-year-old Shakyra Lashay Smith is wanted for felony obtaining property by false pretense. The last known address for Smith was 193 4th Street Northeast in Taylorsville.

24-year-old Robert John Mazzullo is another new name on the Iredell County most wanted list. He's wanted for nine counts of felony stalking, and felony possession of a stolen vehicle. Mazzullo's last known address was 178 Woodwinds Drive in Mooresville.

27-year-old Patricia Yates was also recently added to the most wanted list. She's charged with felony counts of possession of schedule II controlled substance and conspiracy to sell controlled substance. The last known address for Yates was 197 Austin Road in Statesville.

You can see the entire list of wanted suspects with their photos at If you have any information on any of the suspects on the list you can e-mail You can also call any tips into the Iredell County Sheriff's Office at their Statesville location, 704-878-3180, or the Mooresville office, 704-664-7500.

58-year-old Joel Nicholas Baker of Freezer Locker Road in Hudson was arrested Wednesday (January 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. In addition, Baker is charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (January 17).

Thursday, 17 January 2019 03:51

Newton Woman Arrested On Meth, Heroin Charges

24-year-old Samantha Jean Taylor of Little Road in Newton was arrested Wednesday (January 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with two counts of the sale of methamphetamine, along with single counts of the sale of heroin, felony probation violation, and misdemeanor larceny. Taylor was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $121,000 bond. A District Court date is set for February 4, a Superior Court appearance is scheduled March 21.

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